What is the Recommended Oil Change Interval?

by Jason Medina

Oil changes are critical to maintaining the health and functionality of a vehicle's engine. Frequent oil changes increase engine lubrication and reduce engine friction and wear, all of which contributes to a longer-lasting engine. Recommended oil change intervals vary, but all automotive experts and/or mechanics agree on the necessity of ongoing, frequent oil changes.

Factory Recommended Oil Change Interval

Most car manufacturers, especially manufacturers of newer cars and trucks, recommend changing vehicle oil every 6 months or 6,000 miles, whichever comes first. This oil change interval is viewed by many automotive experts as being too infrequent.

Traditional Oil Change Interval Recommendation

The standard, long-standing oil change interval as recommended by most leading automotive maintenance organizations and mechanics is every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. This particular oil change interval has been recommended for many decades, and is still widely adhered to today.

Frequent Oil Changes Equate to Longer Engine Life

Although most car manufacturers recommend changing engine oil every 6 months or 6,000 miles, most automotive experts and mechanics still recommend oil changes every 3 months or 3,000 miles. The logic behind this recommendation is that more frequent oil changes equate to a longer engine life.

Driving Conditions and Oil Change Intervals

Vehicles that are driven hard or used for heavy-duty purposes like trailer towing, off-roading, or high-speed driving require more frequent oil change intervals. Hard driving produces more wear and strain on a vehicle's engine, producing more wear particles that necessitate more frequent oil changes.

Frequent Oil Changes Ensure Proper Engine Lubrication

Frequent oil changes, every 3 months or 3,000 miles, ensure that a vehicle's engine has a constant supply of fresh, clean oil for which to lubricate itself. Engine operation produces high levels of heat and friction, both of which lead to excessive engine wear. Frequent oil changes increase engine lubrication which reduces both engine heat and friction, leading to a longer engine life.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.